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Assistant Director, Department of Public Works

Mackenzie Eason & Associates
Little Rock, AR
  • Posted: February 09, 2023
  • Full-Time

Mackenzie Eason & Associates has been retained by the City of Little Rock's Public Works Department to recruit a dynamic Assistant Director to assist the Public Works Director on all matters related to the capital improvements and operational management of public works in the city. The role will provide leadership over the strategic and tactical operations and programming of infrastructure, services, facilities, and projects provided by the City. The position is a member of the Department's Senior Management Team, reporting to the Director and plays a vital role in shaping the City's public works programs.

The diversity of public works functions requires an essential broad base of knowledge and experience in operations, grounds, streets, utilities, engineering, open space, facilities, solid waste, sustainability, public engagement, council communications, traffic and transportation, building services, and emergency operations. The incumbent in this role will be expected to develop acumen in all these areas over the course of their time with the City of Little Rock.

The City of Little Rock

The City of Little Rock employs over 2,500 employees in 14 departments. The City of Little Rock is dedicated to improving residents' quality of life by providing exceptional service in an efficient and equitable manner. Its vision is to be a leading Southern city-vibrant, safe, and innovative-that provides an excellent and sustainable quality of life where all families, individuals, and businesses can thrive.


The Assistant Director will actively manage a variety of service areas and be a link to the Department across all city functions. The Assistant Director will primarily be responsible for professional and managerial duties relating to the planning, directing, organizing, implementing, and coordinating all programs and activities of the Divisions of the Public Works Department. This position plays a key role in strategic planning and development and implementation of short and long-term goals and objectives, budget preparation and administration, staffing, and public relations for the Department and the City of Little Rock.

Key Job Responsibilities:

  • Strategic planning of Departmental long- and short-term goals.
  • Performance evaluation to identify and implement opportunities for improved Department service delivery methods, programs, operations, policies, and procedures.
  • Forecast, prepare, and monitor the annual Department budget to ensure adequate training programs, staffing levels, equipment, materials, and supplies.
  • Personnel administration and management. Assign work activities, provide professional development training and mentorship, and investigate and resolve sensitive or controversial employee issues, inquiries, and complaints.
  • Serves as the Departmental liaison with City departments, federal, state, and county agencies, and intergovernmental agencies in planning and directing Public Works-related projects.
  • Negotiates contract changes and change orders with consulting engineers and organizations engaged in the construction of solid waste facilities.
  • Conducts research, surveys, and studies to determine trends, identify needs and assess feasibility and opportunities for creating new programs and projects, including new technology development.
  • Reviews and approves improvement plans, specifications, and documents to ensure consistent quality design and compliance with project tasks and goals.
  • Serves as a spokesperson regarding media relations for the Department of Public Works; prepares and delivers presentations to a variety of groups, answers questions and provides information from members of the press, and determines the release of information regarding Departmental operations, special programs, events, and activities.
  • Attends City board meetings to answer questions, and provide and present information to the City Manager, Board of Directors, Mayor, and citizens relating to Departmental related programs, projects, and activities.

The Ideal Candidate

The chosen candidate will have considerable knowledge of transportation and public works, regulatory trends and best practices, a sensitivity to community needs, and a proven ability to improve service delivery efficiency and effectiveness. With the Director needing to take on a more strategic level role, the new Assistant Director will relieve him of the tactical issues of everyday operations. However, it will also be critical for the Assistant Director to help define the strategic vision that sets a foundation of excellence within the Department. The successful candidate will be an innovative problem solver and consensus builder who will analyze problems, identify alternative solutions, project consequences of proposed actions, and implement recommendations in support of the strategic direction.

The ideal candidate will possess experience, knowledge, and skills in the following areas:
  • Knowledge of laws, regulations, and standards governing public works operations and maintenance activities;
  • Knowledge of principles and practices of civil engineering and engineering mathematics;
  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of municipal organization and administration including knowledge of budget preparation and execution;
  • Knowledge of human resource management practices and theories, including employee relations, employment law, organizational development, and leadership development;
  • Knowledge of contract administration and project management. Considerable knowledge of maintenance and replacement strategies to support the integration of asset management into long-range planning;
  • Knowledge of the regulations and requirements governing grants and federal funds;
  • Knowledge of computer fundamentals and business software, including accounting, database, spreadsheet, and word processing software;
  • Broad knowledge of strategic planning and organizational development;
  • Research, analyze, prepare, and/or review complex administrative and operating reports and records; and
  • Adaptable and strong supervisory experience that can boost and maintain positive employee morale and inspire them to maximize their performance, and consistently provide the highest level of internal/ external customer service.
  • Ability to prepare and deliver presentations in front of small and large groups comprised of diverse public audiences, ethnicities, and knowledge levels.
  • Ability to conduct research and analyze and compile data to prepare detailed narrative and statistical reports.
  • Ability to read and interpret blueprints, construction plans, schematics, and specifications.
  • Ability to negotiate changes in contracts with consulting engineers and organizations engaged in the construction of Public Works projects and facilities.

Education, Experience, & License Requirements

We realize your time is valuable, so please do not apply if you do not have at least the following required minimum qualifications:
  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in Business Administration, Civil Engineering, Public Administration or a related area and,
  • Four (4) years of progressively responsible experience in civil engineering involving the design, construction, and maintenance of public works projects OR four (4) years of managerial-level experience in planning and directing public works operations, programs and services
  • Two (2) years of experience supervising professional and management-level employees.
  • An equivalent combination of education, formal training and work experience that produces the knowledge, skill, and ability to perform the essential duties and responsibilities of the position.
  • Must possess registration as a Professional Engineer (PE) before employment; must possess registration in the State of Arkansas as a Professional Engineer (PE) within one (1) year of employment; must maintain registration for the duration of employment in this position.
  • Must possess a valid Arkansas Class D (Non-Commercial Vehicle) Driver's License by the completion of the probationary period and maintain licensure for the duration of employment in this position.
  • Must be a resident of the City of Little Rock within ninety (90) days of employment; must maintain residency for the duration of employment in this position.
  • Must be available to work outside of regular business hours to include evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays as required.

Mackenzie Eason & Associates


Little Rock, AR



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